Tuesday, August 14, 2007


Dog advocates unleashed

There's wide agreement that most dogs
should be spayed and neutered. But who should make that decision -- the
state, the city, the owners, a selected kind of owner or the dog
itself? All this week, BillHemby and Daniel Guss debate California's kaninekulturkampf.

Today, Guss, founder of Stop Torture Abuse & Neglect of Dogs, discusses the stymied "California Healthy Pets Act" with Hemby, founder of PetPAC. Later in the week, they'll debate pit-bull deprogramming, muscle-dog culture and more.

Don't listen to the profiteers -- mandatory spay-neuter now!
By Daniel Guss

What a great way to start the week: I am a volunteer humane advocate going
against you, Bill, a paid lobbyist and profiteering dog breeder allied
with a PR firm that unsuccessfully defended Big Tobacco and fought
against a living wage law. Birds of a feather, readers!

And now, here's the scoop:

Millions of dogs and cats are killed every year in the United States. I'm
talking about really sweet, please-rub-my-belly pets, including small
ones and purebreds.

Who could say we're doing right by the animals?

Imagine their millions of bodies spread out over Yankee Stadium or the Rose
Bowl, 100 feet deep. This happens every year, as far back as records
are kept. Some image, right? Society used to drown them enmasse. Now they're injected with poison without so much as a sedative to soothe their nerves.

This mountain of death irrefutably proves that humans have failed animals miserably.

Historically and correctly, government does its best work after people create -- and
can't solve -- alarming, preventable tragedies like this. The time for
mandatory spay-neuter laws is now.

In 1984, New York passed the nation's first seat belt
laws because we killed ourselves on the roads at an alarming,
preventable rate. Every state now has seat belt laws, and DUI laws,
because we couldn't stop the killing on our own.

Should the free market decide these things? See how your insurance company reacts if
you get popped for a DUI. Call them and say you won't buckle up. These
laws helped reduce the slaughter.

Likewise, because dogs and cats can't beg for mercy, governments are now actively
considering mandatory spay/neuter laws at the behest of animal shelter directors,
workers and veterinarians, as well as police departments, animal
rescuers and citizens fed up with needless killing of good dogs and cats.

My friends devote their lives to saving animals, enduring
enormous personal and financial sacrifice. Hundreds of daily e-mails
pass among them, desperate to save "Coco" or "Lucky" from being dragged
on a rope or pole, and killed on a cold steel table or concrete floor
reeking of the dog or cat killed there minutes earlier.

Not once have I seen an e-mail response from a breeder, puppy mill or pet store
saying that they will save these animals' lives. It would mean one less
family to which they could sell a puppy or kitten at a profit. These
profiteers not only fail to help, they are now frantic to stop those of
us who are demanding a change.

Who do you trust? Those who sacrifice or those who profit?

With some common sense exemptions, like for police dogs, the time for
mandatory spay-neuter has arrived. (See Assembly Bill 1634, at
www.CAHealthyPets.com.) The bill even gives breeders multiple
exemptions, but still they are indignant because saving shelter animals
shrinks their customer base.

So when you see someone foaming at
the mouth about mandatory spay-neuter, ask them how many shelter
animals they've saved lately, if ever.

Mandatory spay-neuter is the only solution. Believe those of us who sacrifice, not others who profit.

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